Smith Machine

Thursday could have been the prime day for me to wake up and run.  It could have been the day I’ve been wishing for, where I got a good night’s rest and woke up for an early morning romp and headed to work.  It could have even been the day I set a new PR for how far I could run.

But instead it turned out to be the day I slept in.

I did – in fact – sleep very well.  And that led to me not wanting to get out of bed.  I have no excuse of not having my alarm set.  I set it, it was ready to go.  But I certainly wasn’t.  It went off and I quickly shut it off and went back to sleep.  It was a wonderful extra 45 minutes of sleep.  I’m sure it REALLY made a huge difference in how I felt and how may day went.

Or not.

But Thursday is more about me apologizing to a very special machine.  This is a machine that I have hated for many years.  I didn’t care for it much when it was in my old gym and when I first saw it in the new gym I use I thought I was headed for a heartbreak.  But after my Wednesday workout I am feeling the need to tell the Smith Machine that I was wrong.

You work.

Now, I understand why there are those who don’t like the Smith Machine.  I was one of them.  It makes it far too “easy” to perform the workout correctly.  You don’t have to correct your form, you don’t have to make sure you aren’t tilting from one side to the other and you don’t get to take advantage of those muscles being worked on the side while you do your bench press, squats or rows.  But the machine at the new gym I am going to is slightly different.  Most Smith Machines I know only go up and down.  That’s it.  This machine goes up and down and also slides front-to-back. The only thing it won’t do is go side-to-side.  That may still force me to neglect a few minor muscles but what I noticed was that it corrected my form and posture and made me feel it in every muscle I should.

Squats (as those of you know who have read in the past) are my enemy.  I know they are important and one of the best leg workouts you can do but they always have hurt my back.  Sometimes it is after one workout and sometimes it builds up over a week or two, but inevitably I am in some pain due to doing them.  The squats I did on Thursday seemed different.  I felt like it was forcing me into the correct form and making me use the leg muscles properly.  It wasn’t as easy as it seemed on a regular squat rack because I wasn’t cheating by using my back incorrectly.  I was actually doing it right!

So thank you, Smith Machine.  You showed that sometimes hating a machine because of a past experience isn’t the right thing to do.  Maybe the one you used wasn’t the best one, maybe you used it incorrectly or perhaps it just isn’t the machine for you.  I know I am glad it is in my gym so I can continue to do my workouts with the correct form even if it means I can’t move up in weight as fast as I could in the past.

Better safe and steady than fast and beddy… as in bed-ridden… as in “in pain.”

Meals:

Breakfast – 3 egg garlic wrap
Snacks – Granola bar and jerky
Lunch – Chicken quesadillas
Dinner – Chicken nuggets

Exercise:

An hour+ of walking at work

2 hours of Kyokushin Karate

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